Fabulous Ferments


Janine and I are busy preparing for our Fermented Food Workshop on the 8th and 15th of March.

We have lots of different ferments to make and taste on the day, however I am particularly happy with this fermented pineapple. It is the first time I have tried it, but it certainly won’t be the last!

Our workshop on the 8th is now booked up, but we still have a couple of places free on the 15th if you would like to join us. 

Adventures with Fermented Foods

Sunday, March 15th 2020,  1.30pm – 5:00pm

Belinda’s Kitchen, West Molesey, Surrey


In this workshop you will explore the traditions, flavours and health benefits of lacto-fermented foods.

Learn how the inclusion of medicinal and culinary herbs will not only enhance the flavour of your preserves, but also their health properties.

Plus make and taste a range of delicious preserved foods including:

fermented fruits & vegetables … Preserved lemons • Sauerkraut • Fermented berries

… delicious probiotic drinks … Water kefir • Beetroot Kvass • Ginger Beer

 … & fermented milk / nut milk … Almond milk yoghurt • Cultured butter • Vegan ‘cheese’


£65.00 per person

Includes workshop, afternoon tea, homemade preserves to take home & handouts

Places limited to a maximum of 8 people


For more information and to book, please contact:

Belinda Blake on 020 8941 9259 / blakenutrition@googlemail.com

or Janine Gerhardt on 07930 901662 / info@roots-of-nature.co.uk

Labneh in Oil



2 cups (500g) live Greek yoghurt

1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Olive oil

Fresh dill



Line a plastic sieve with a double layer of clean cheesecloth and set over a bowl.

Mix the yoghurt with the salt (if using) and transfer the yoghurt onto the cheesecloth in the sieve. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and secure with an elastic band.

Allow the yoghurt to sit in the fridge for the next 24-48 hours. You will find that the excess liquid will drain away, resulting in a firmer cream-cheese-like texture. Gently squeezing the cheesecloth once or twice a day will help it on its way.

Once ready, unwrap the labneh and, using wet hands, roll into small balls (about the size of a large walnut).

I rolled some of the the balls in sumac and the others in chopped dill.

The labneh is delicious eaten fresh, but can also be preserved in oil. To do this, pour about 3cms of oil into a sterile jar, then start to add the cheese balls, adding in more oil as you go so that they don’t stick together. Finally, top with some additional oil to ensure that all are covered, then seal the jar.

Store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.

The labneh is best served at room temperature and is delicious spread onto rye or toasted sourdough bread and topped with roasted peppers or sun-blush tomatoes.

If you would like to learn more about fermented foods and make and taste some delicious ‘live’ recipes, why not join Janine and I on our Fermented Food Workshop, on the 8th and 15th of March 2020. For more information, or to book, please call 020 8941 9259 or email me at: blakenutrition@googlemail.com. 

Christmas Cranberries


Fermented Cranberry Relish


  • 450g fresh cranberries
  • Rind and juice of 1 large (well-scrubbed) orange
  • 80g honey (if you use unpasteurized honey this will help aid fermentation)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1tsp sea salt


Wash and dry the cranberries.

Place the berries in a food processor and coarsely chop (do not reduce to a puree).

Add the grated ginger, orange zest, orange juice, honey and salt then briefly whizz to combine. Taste and adjust flavourings if necessary.

Pack tightly into a sterile wide-mouth jar and add the cinnamon stick. Cover and leave out at room temperature for 1 day to begin to ferment.

Using a clean spoon (to avoid putting bacteria into your relish), taste the relish. If you are happy with the flavour, you can use it immediately. Alternatively, let it ferment for an additional day or two, to allow it to further develop its flavour.

When you are happy with the flavour, store the jar in the fridge and use within two weeks.

A delicious, fresh accompaniment to the Christmas meal itself and all the leftovers!

Recipe based on an original by www.rebeccawood.com .


Chocolates & Wine ….


My lovely friend and colleague, Medical Herbalist Janine Gerhardt, and I are busy planning our Winter Wild Food Adventure and exploring a range of delicious seasonal foods to make and taste to follow our bracing foraging walk in West Molesey.

Chocolate and wine are certainly on the menu, but both are given a herbal twist so that they pack a nutritional punch, as well as taste fabulous.  

Why not join us to find out more:

Winter Spices & Herbal Christmas Presents

Sunday, November 24th, 2019, 1pm-5pm

£65.00 per person

Includes herb walk, afternoon tea, workshop, homemade foods & remedies to take home plus handouts

Places limited to a maximum of 8 people

For more details and to book, please contact:

Belinda Blake on 020 8941 9259 / blakenutrition@googlemail.com


Beetroot Falafel


This recipe was adapted from one of the Guardian’s 10 best beetroot recipes and is one of my favourite autumn recipes. The beetroot is an amazing liver-supportive vegetable and, alongside a serving of phytoestrogen-rich hummus, is a delicious way to hep support healthy hormone balance.

Beetroot Falafel


  • 400g beetroot (about 2 medium), peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 120g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 70g quinoa
  • 30g whole almonds*
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

*Soaking the almonds overnight in warm, salted water helps to break down lectins and phytic acid which aids digestibility and mineral bioavailability. Drain the almonds, then follow this with a short roasting (15-20 minutes at 75˚C / 160˚F) to further aid digestibility, plus enhance that lovely almond flavour without damaging the delicate oils.


Preheat the oven to 200˚C / 400˚F / gas mark 6.

Toss the beetroot and sweet potatoes in a little olive oil then roast until tender (the sweet potato will cook in about 20 minutes, but the beetroot will take a bit longer).

Boil the quinoa in water (add twice the amount of water to quinoa) for 15 minutes, then drain away any excess water and allow to cool.

Pop the toasted almonds into your food processor and pulse to initially break these into chunks, then add the beetroot, sweet potato, ground cumin, ground coriander, nigella seeds and harissa then whizz until you have a thick paste (alternatively, roughly mash the vegetables by hand if you prefer a bit more texture). Finally, stir in the cooked quinoa and season with sea salt and black pepper. Check flavourings and adjust as necessary.

You may find it helpful to chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes if still warm as this makes it easier to use.

When ready, roll into 12 balls, place on a greased baking tray and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes.

These little falafel are soft and tasty and work well stuffed into a warm pita bread with a blob of hummus, some rocket and fermented veggies for a speedy and colourful lunch …


Sweet Cravings & Hormones Behaving Badly!


As a young woman my life was largely controlled by hormones behaving badly. For two weeks each month I was plagued by anxiety, mood swings, fatigue and cravings, culminating in a week of period pain before returning to my ‘normal’ self for a short interlude, before it all kicked-off again.

I was in my mid-twenties before I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis, which helped to explain my crazy symptoms, however it was nutritional therapy which finally allowed me to take control of my life again.

If you would like to learn more about how your diet and lifestyle affect your hormones and sample simple, delicious strategies to help ‘tame’ your hormones and reclaim your life, please join me at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in Richmond:

Nutrition to Optimise Women’s Health – Saturday 26th October 2019, 10am – 4:30pm

PS – chocolate is definitely on the menu!


For more information, or to book: https://www.ion.ac.uk/Event/womens-nutrition-2019 

Winter Spices & Herbal Christmas Presents


Winter Spices & Herbal Christmas Presents

Sunday, November 24th 2019, 1pm-5pm

You are invited to join myself and medical herbalist Janine Gerhardt in our preparations for Christmas and the winter months ahead, in our festive workshop.

We start the afternoon with a bracing foraging walk, after which we will return to the warmth of the kitchen to enjoy an afternoon tea packed full of seasonal spice and then embark upon our wild food and herb workshop, making our own bespoke Christmas gifts and treats to take home.

Amongst other things, we will be making Janine’s delicious herbal chocolates, full of Christmas spice; fermented cranberry relish; your own personal bath-salts recipe; a fragrant body scrub and a little tipple to enjoy with your Christmas lunch…

£65.00 per person

Includes herb walk, afternoon tea, workshop, homemade foods & remedies to take home plus handouts

Places limited to a maximum of 8 people

Our December 1st workshop is already booked up, so please do contact me asap if you are interested in coming along on the 24th November.

For more details and to book, please contact:

Belinda Blake on 020 8941 9259 / blakenutrition@googlemail.com